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“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” Joshua 1:9

January 21, 2016

Day Two - Flying

10th December 2015


Participants: Harri (my brother), and I

Itinerary: flight to Singapore, flight to Sydney.

I have to say, it wasn't the most pleasant trip in the world. Probably wouldn't make any of the lists of pleasant trips. However, since it was a plane trip with black, shiny screens that hold a million different entertainment options, it wasn't the worst trip.

So, continuing on from the last post, our intentions were to go straight to sleep on the flight. However, when we arrived on the flight, and flicked through the movies that would be available to watch, we decided to watch one movie together. Funnily enough, I don't actually remember what that movie was... Oh yes, it was The Minion Movie. So anyway, the flight took off, and as we began watching the movie, Harri began falling asleep, so we decided to watch the movie together later. After he fell asleep, no matter how hard I tried I annoyingly just could not fall asleep. I tried moving the pillow we were given all around my seat and underneath me to find an, apparently unfindable, comfortable position. In a last attempt to get myself sleepy, I tried watching a movie. However, the movie was too good and I ended up watching the whole film. Hence, I did not get to sleep, and when Harri woke up we watched the rest of The Minion movie together. Soo, that was sleep gone.

One thing I noticed about the flight, was that they serve us food at really weird times. I am not sure what timetable they go by, but I never seemed to be hungry when they bring around food. Perhaps it was because I eat when I am not hungry, so that when I would have been hungry I am not anymore? I don't know. Did that even make sense?

After being served breakfast, I tried again, unsuccessfully to fall asleep. So, I watched another movie, and then another. And then another. And then another. Till eventually it was night again, and we were in the half hour period till descent. In this way, I got practically no sleep.

As we started descending over Singapore, we stared, much like sitting ducks, at the dotted lights arrangement of Singapore City. It was really quite beautiful, which is one advantage of travelling at night time. Perhaps the only really, cause not sleeping never helps with jet lag. Hopefully the next flight will give me some time to sleep.

I must say, Singapore airport is very different. The thing that really stood out was the purple carpet: very regal and homey. Harri and I quickly got changed into fresh clothes for the next flight, which would take us to Sydney. Hence, we needed to change out of jeans to shorts and long-sleeves to shorter-sleeved shirts. Once done, and after spraying ourselves with our favourite perfume at the duty-free store, we began going through a security checkpoint at our gate. Luckily, I was getting sleepier by the minute, meaning sleep will be easier on the next flight. One can hope.

On the flight again, and finally sleep overwhelms me. Pure bliss.

Next stop, Sydney!!

Till next time,

Laura

Xoxo




January 20, 2016

Day 1 - London

9th December 2015


Leaving!! Ahh :D I am definetely nervous, I keep telling myself, definetely not nerves. Still gets me every time I travel.

Itinerary: Wake up early, get plane to London, spend day traipsing all over the city, spend afternoon taking pictures up The Shard, and then take the night flight to Singapore.

 Driving to the airport at 5:30 am. 

 Harri and I ready to face the day of travelling.

Breakfast at Helsinki airport before saying goodbye to our grandparents.
The snow-flaked windows in the British Airways flight to London. 
After dropping our hand luggage off at the airport, we take the Heathrow train to Paddington Station, and then the underground to Kensington Park. I had planned to go to some Christmas markets, and me being me, I forgot to check whereabouts in the whole entire region of the park the markets are located. Here we are starting our trip with high expectations. 

London!! Kensington Park.
Luckily it’s a lovely day, because I am pretty sure we would not be too happy to trudge through rain, mud or anything besides this weather to find the markets. Onwards we go.

 Autumn Leaves.
As we keep going, it slowing dawns on us that this park is HUGE. If I had just spent a bit longer searching for the area of the markets before starting this trip we could have saved time. Of course, I wanted Harri to think that I was perfectly fine with this additional LONG detour, so I didn't mention that I didn't know where we were going. Luckily, I did have internet on my phone, so I was discretely looking at maps on my phone. By discretely, I mean pretending-to-take-pictures-of-the-scenery discretely.

After finally finding the markets, and having to walk an extra couple of miles to find the only entrance of the whole entire markets, we walked in and straight out again. Seems wierd, I know, but it just was not somewhere we would have liked to stay. Thinking back, it must have looked very suspicious to the police who checked our bags.

 Lake Serpentine.

Here we are after eating in the restaurant right next to the markets (but not in them). We were absolutely starved, and I did not want to walk another step until I had eaten. You do not want to see me when I have not eaten. Let’s just say I get very cranky :)

 Walking to Harrods. Of course, just for a look at the Christmas decorations. A tad too expensive for those of us who are students ….. and the like. 

Department store’s Christmas decorations. They look like a New Year's decoration, rather than Christmas really. However, when you think about it, Christmas is just as much a celebration as New Year's, if not more. So yes, it suits Christmas quite well then. 

As you do in London, we captured the royalty of some country riding to the palace in the carriage. Nothing at all out of the ordinary. This is Britain we are talking about.  Royalty central. 

After following, not at all stalking, the carriage with the supposed royalty, we arrived at Buckingham Palace. We were tempted to follow the carriage further into the courtyards, as the gates were invitingly open to us, but we weren't dressed appropriately. Subsequently, we both agreed that another time would be best :) 
My favourite place to sit in London. The marble fountain outside of Buckingham Palace, looking up at the sun. With my eyes closed, of course :) Perfect image of relaxation right there. 

Trafalgar Square. Christmas style. 

Taking the metro to the Blackfriars stop. Very handy things, those undergrounds.
  
 Millennium Bridge. 

Taking a picture of the building we will be going up in: The Shard.

 Weaving through these narrow alleyways to get to The Shard. It is a part of London we had never explored before, and plan to explore more of. 

 Lovely old ruins. 

After emerging into the light, we looked up and were amazed at how tall The Shard is. Of course, all tall towers look much taller close up then far away, but it was still surprising to see :)

 Up The Shard right on sunset. Timing done correctly, thanks to Harri :)

Having our Snow White Hot Chocolate watching the sun set over the River Thames.
Lights beginning to turn on.


More lights lighting up London City.

It was amazing to see light after light turn on, and turn around to see the entirety of London that could be seen dotted with lights. Memory to never forget right there.

I couldn't help thinking how wonderful it is to be here with Harri, my brother. Sentimentality.

After almost getting divided on the underground, and almost going through the security at the wrong terminal at the airport, we finally planted ourselves down in the cushioned airoplane seats. Now to try to get some sleep on the flight, or perhaps I will watch a marathon of movies instead? :)

Till next post,

Laura

Xoxo

January 14, 2016

Preperations for the Australia trip

5th December 2015

What a way to wake up in the morning. Sick, and you are flying in two days. The last few weeks, well months really, have been so jam-packed with a combination of studying, socialising, and tea shop wanderings. Hence, I didn't have much time at all to spend on my own, allowing my body to fight off the infectious diseases bouncing around in our flat. And so this is what I get for leaving everything till the last minute. Beep-beep-beep (giving my apologies to everyone who I was meant to be meeting today, except one). I know, I shouldn't be out at all, but she had come all the way from Finland, and it was really quite necessary to see her today.

6th December 2015

Pack-up day!! Yay. I had spent the previous night packing and gift-wrapping till the latest hour that I could possibly stay awake. And today was the day to finish packing, briefly clean room, wash clothes, travel to Anita and Brenton's place, and teach crocheting to the ladies in my church at the Christmas craft night. A lot to pack in, but what can I say? I am a lady who likes to keep busy. 

The star I taught to the ladies at church. I know, looks difficult. I didn't think of that ;) It is my first time teaching officially. Duly noted. 

7th December 2015 - Flight Edinburgh to Helsinki

Waking up in Alisha's bedroom felt just right. She is my sister from another Anita :) I did have to wake up quite early, so she was curled up in her blanket and was still sleeping. After creeping downstairs, making breakfast, and getting dressed, everyone was up. I just had time to give out my presents to the family, my second family, and hug them all before I had to leaving to the airport. The airport seems to be like a fifth home now, or maybe it is the sixth. I have lost count how many homes I have. More than I can count. Okay, so off to Helsinki, to my first home, or is it my second. Now I am just confusing myself :)

Tea and muffin at the airport in Edinburgh.

Arriving in Helsinki, I eat a pre-Christmas dinner with my family. My mum and dad will be leaving tomorrow, and Harri and I will be leaving on the 9th of December, so my grandparent's will be on their own for Christmas. That is why we are having a pre-Christmas meal. A full, overly-done, yet perfect, traditional Finnish Christmas meal. Now, how am I going to get to sleep when I am so full?

8th December 2015

Arriving at the airport again felt normal. This time, however, I won't be leaving. It is my parents leaving for Sydney, Australia. I will then be going back home. Wait a minute, what is home?  

Christmas decorations in Helsinki.

Back to packing. As I unpack some stuff from Edinburgh, I pack stuff for Australia. Rhythmic motion: in, out, in, out. 

Sleep is the best thing before a long flight, so I cannot wait to tuck myself under those homey blankets and drift off to dream land. Not that I ever remember my dreams. 

Till next post,

Laura 

Xoxo